Alto Dairy Promotes Smedema

Chuck Zimmerman

John SmedemaHere’s an announcement about a nice promotion. Congrats to John. You’ve obviously done a great job over the years.

Alto Dairy has named John Smedema Vice President of Operations of the 113-year-old dairy cooperative. Prior to his promotion, Smedema was serving as Alto’s Director of Operations. Smedema is responsible for managing the Alto’s cheese and whey divisions, as well as procurement of non-dairy supplies. He has worked for the cooperative for over 24 years. He knows the process from the ground up working in cheese production and managing Alto’s Packaging Division and the Waupun Cheese Plant. “His leadership and participation in the Senior Management Team has been outstanding,” said Rich Scheuerman, Alto Dairy’s President & CEO. “John and his team have implemented a number of initiatives to keep Alto competitive in the ever-changing dairy industry.”

Dairy Business

The Formation of the USAIO

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve been meaning to write about this but had hoped to have more information by now. All I’ve seen is this one release and an endorsement from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. There’s a little more information in this story from the Brownfield Network. So, here’s what I know and now you do too.

Charles Miller, Chairman
United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO)
January 11, 2006

“I am pleased to announce the formation of the United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO). The USAIO is a nonprofit, independent organization working with every segment of animal industry and animal health authorities to manage the industry-led animal identification movement database as prescribed by the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) plan.

“The first board meeting was held January 10, 2006, where members of the board were elected. The board of directors will be expanded as various industry groups formally adopt the USAIO as their database repository for animal movement data needed for the NAIS. Initial directors are:

Charles Miller, Nicholasville, Ky., cow-calf producer

Rick Stott, Boise, Idaho, beef producer

Lance Kuck, Bassett, Neb., bison producer

“This organization looks forward to working closely with industry and animal health authorities to move the NAIS forward in a positive, proactive way. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been submitted by the USAIO to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to form a strategic partnership and fulfill Secretary Johanns’ directive for the industry to develop the database repository. USAIO looks forward to engaging all the interested parties to provide an effective, efficient, and inexpensive database for the NAIS.”

Here’s part of the statement from the current NCBA President.

“I am pleased to see oversight of the animal movement database resting in such capable and experienced hands. But I am also proud that NCBA has fulfilled the directive we were issued by our members – to bring this database to fruition, then allow an independent consortium to assume management responsibility for it.

“We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles, not to mention critics. But while others only talk about the issue, NCBA rose to the challenge and provided a solution. Our members can all be proud of that. We understand U.S. cattlemen need an animal ID solution today – not several years down the road..”

Jim McAdams, President
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Animal ID, Industry News

Beverly Hills Cheese Store Awards

Chuck Zimmerman

The Cheese Store of Beverly HillsThe next time you’re in Beverly Hills, CA plan to stop by The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. If you can’t do that you can still shop online. The proprietor is Norbert Wabnig who has just announced the winners of his Second Annual American Artisanal Treasure Awards. The American Artisanal Treasure Awards was created by Wabnig to honor producers of handmade specialty foods across the United States. Each winner will receive a Certificate of Handmade Excellence signed by Wabnig. The winners are:

Best Goat Cheese:
Greenville, Indiana

Best Cow Cheese:
Amish Cheddar
Noble, Pennsylvania

Best Sheep Cheese:
Angel’s Feat
Bingham Hill, Colorado

Best Olive Oil:
Petit Marche
Chef John Folse in Louisiana

Best Condiment:
Dominick’s Marcona Almond Pesto
Beverly Hills, California

Best Bread:
Breadbar’s Baguette + Breadbar’s Olive Loaf
El Segundo, California

Best Sausage:
Mad Mike’s Spicy Chicken Sausage
Fullerton, California

Best Marmalade or Preserve:
Cranberry Fool
Sherman Oaks, California

Best Honey:
Savannah Bee Honey Comb
Savannah, Georgia

Best Sweet:
Poco Dolce Chocolate Tiles
San Francisco, California

The American Artisanal Treasures Awards basket can be purchased at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills or online at The price is $200 not including Overnight Shipping, which will be based on destination. The basket contains all the winners except the Angel Feat sheep cheese, which is unavailable until February 2006.


Ontario Dairy Farmers Report Milk Marketing Numbers

Chuck Zimmerman

Dairy Farmers of OntarioThe Dairy Farmers of Ontario just reported marketings of 2.5 billion litres of milk for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2005. The figure was released with the presentation of DFO’s Annual Report at its 40th Annual Meeting in Toronto on January 11 and represented a slight decrease from the previous year. Some other interesting facts include:

For this milk, DFO billed processors $1.67 billion. The organization retained $63.4 million for milk transportation, $11.0 million for administration of the marketing system, $29.3 million for market expansion and about $1 million to support research.

Dairy Group, International

Dairy Nutrition Supplement To JACN

Chuck Zimmerman

International Dairy FederationThe International Dairy Federation has some papers you may want to look at. They are seven independent scientific review papers that record the views of top nutrition scientists on milk and its role on the diet. They’ve been published as a supplement to the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

December Journal of the American College of NutritionYou can download a pdf directly from the IDF website here.

If you’re nterested in a paper copy? Just contact the Journal of the American College of Nutrition:

P.O. Box 3000
Denville, NJ 07834
Tel: 973-627-2427

Dairy Group, Nutrition

Spectramast DC From Pfizer Animal Health

Chuck Zimmerman

Pfizer Animal HealthPfizer Animal Health just announced an FDA-approved mastitis treatment. This treatment “provides dairy producers with a wider range of management options than any other dry cow mastitis treatment on the market.”

It’s SPECTRAMAST DC and it fights major environmental pathogens and Staphylococcus aureus, has a zero-day milk discard period following a 30-day dry period, and offers the shortest meat withdrawal available. Most of the current mastitis treatments were developed more than 20 years ago, and Pfizer recognized the importance for continued research and development of a broader spectrum product. “Traditionally, mastitis treatments for dry cows were not labeled for environmental pathogens,” said Bruce Beachnau, DVM, dairy veterinary operations, Pfizer Animal Health. “SPECTRAMAST DC was proven effective for Staphylococcus aureus, and environmental pathogens such as Streptococcus dysgalactiae, and Streptococcus uberis.”

I am seriously glad I don’t have to record a radio commercial about this. It’s a whole lot easier to type some of those words than to say them!


American Made Cheese Outlook Good

Chuck Zimmerman

Wisconsin Milk Marketing BoardThe Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board says “there’s gold in American-made cheese.” They see the growth in American made specialty cheeses continuing.

The movement to artisan, farmstead, ethnic and organic type cheeses continues to gain strength, according to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), a dairy farmer-funded organization that promotes Wisconsin Cheese nationally. The board closely monitors and analyzes culinary and cheese trends. In Wisconsin, for example, specialty cheese production rose by 9 percent in 2004 to 331 million pounds. The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade found sales of specialty cheese were up 29.1 percent in 2004 from 2002, to $905 million, excluding sales of Wal-Mart.

The reason for their optimism is that not only do these cheeses taste good but they fit into many of the trends in food today like the desire for convenience. Along with their rosy outlook come some predictions for the future that include:

–Chefs will be offering cheese ice creams –and not just for dessert. Chef Seth Daugherty at Cosmos, Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis, enhances foie gras with Wisconsin Mascarpone and Maple Gelato. Chef Guillermo Pernot at ¡Pasion! in Philadelphia has developed a house-cured fresh tuna with Brick cheese spread ice cream.

–Supermarkets will feature ready-to-go cheese courses and wines for home entertaining, complete with cheese descriptions and “stories.”

–More cheeses will take on fanciful, one-of-a-kind names, a practice becoming common with American artisanal cheeses, such as Homestead and Pleasant Ridge Reserve, two recent Wisconsin award recipients from the American Cheese Society.

–Latin food will travel beyond Mexico. Fresh, milky cheeses, popular in Central and South American cuisines, will flourish. Restaurants will start the movement.

–Upscale restaurants will offer kids’ menus, and the cheese won’t be processed.

Cheese, Dairy Group

Flowery Methane From Cows

Chuck Zimmerman

According to a story on the Daily Record, the “FUTURE IS ROSY FOR RESEARCH ON COWS.” This is a sweet smelling story . . .

SCIENTISTS in Scotland believe that a natural plant additive to cow feed could help save the planet. The results of secret trials may make cows – whose methane has been blamed for increasing the greenhouse effect – less flatulent. And they hope the reduced emissions – which may smell floral after cattle digest the additives – will have a threefold effect.

It could be good for the environment, improve livestock farming and cut out the use of vets’ antibiotics – following the spread of antibiotic resistance in human infections.

I did not know that “Cattle are capable of producing 500 litres of the potent greenhouse gas every day.” This story comes from via Western United Dairymen.

Industry News

How About Those Dairy Exports

Chuck Zimmerman

IDFA Trade FiguresAccording to the IDFA, dairy exports were up significantly in 2005. You can visit their website to see more information and a better image than the one I’ve posted here.

Using data for January through October for each year (October 2005 is the latest data available), the total quantity of U.S. exports grew by 35% in 2004, and are up another 15% in 2005. Importantly, since early 2004, these exports have been prompted without U.S. government subsidies through the Dairy Export Incentive Program.

The value of U.S. dairy exports is also growing faster than the value of imports. Through October 2005, U.S. dairy product exports totaled nearly $1.4 billion, up 20% over the same period in 2004. U.S. imported dairy product value in the same 2005 time period increased only 11%, to $2.1 billion.

Dairy Group, International